A terrific condensed book from his much larger workTheonomy in Christian Ethics. (If you're comparing page numbers it might be hard to see that since it goes from TiCE 563 pages to BTS 350 pages. But TiCE has 563 - 6"x9" pages - while BTS has 350 - 4"x6.75" pages. This makes a huge difference.)
By This Standard is in many ways better than Theonomy in Christian Ethics in that it doesn't read like a master's thesis, is more digestible in its chapter lengths, is aimed at a broader audience thus more accessible for the layman, and has a great succinct section at the end refuting criticisms of his previous work on the topic.
The main point of this book though is still the same: by what standard shall nations decide what is just in socio-political laws? By the standard God has revealed in Scripture.
For a review of that main point, see my review of Theonomy in Christian Ethics.
As for this book, Bahnsen applies the same principles of argumentation and clear exegesis but presents it in an easier tone. Of course this means his argument is not as exhaustive in this book; but it still carries the same weight. Chapter by chapter he uses Scripture over and over again to present the case. And just as before, while it is hard psychologically and emotionally sometimes to reach the conclusions he does. There doesn't seem to be any Biblical or logical reason not to come to the same conclusion.
I hope every Christian interested in the Christian life, the Christian's role in social responsibility, or the nature of law, justice, and/or crime and punishment will read this book - if nothing else to at least see a view presented from Scripture that is not advocated that much today but is very hard to combat (Acts. 26:14).
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